While praising his concert, Troy Aikman reveals more about his roots, his love for country music
In promoting his Highway to Henryetta concert, Troy Aikman revealed some little-known facts about his upbringing in Oklahoma.
Aikman, the former Cowboys quarterback and ESPN broadcaster, made a series of Zoom calls and media interviews, explaining how he wanted to give back to his hometown of Oklahoma, which is about three hours drive from Dallas. Proceeds from the star-studded country music concert will benefit the city and the school district.
During the interviews, Aikman shared some details about how Henryetta made him the person he is today.
Aikman just missed out on bull riding school
He left California in 1979 and lived on the family farm, feeding cows, pigs and chickens and hauling hay. But his father had even bigger plans for Aikman, a school of bulls. Henryetta is known for her rodeo prowess, including ProRodeo Hall of Famer Jim Shoulders.
“I was a stick-and-ball guy,” Aikman said. KMGL 104.1FM in Oklahoma City. “I’ve never even laid eyes on a bull, let alone one. They ended up canceling that bull riding school because they couldn’t afford insurance after all, so many kids were breaking their legs and arms. I don’t know how long Jim Shoulders had it, but it wasn’t much longer, and luckily, because my dad would have had me on a bull.
How he became a country fan
In California, Aikman, at the age of 8 to 9, listened to Aerosmith or KISS. His preference began to shift when he was riding with his father, who was a pipeline foreman, leaving at 4:30 a.m. Aikman was listening to Charley Pride and Merle Haggard on his father’s 8-track player. Once he moved to Oklahoma, he became more of a country music fan.
“I was hearing all the old country songs – Faron Young, Tom T. Hall, all those guys,” he told the Morning Musers on Sportsradio 96.7 FM / 1310 The Ticket (KTCK-AM). “I wasn’t so at the time. But as music tends to do, I [became] a big fan of old country music because it takes me back to those truck rides with my dad at 4:30 in the morning.
His shuffle music is mostly country
“You would definitely hear a lot from Kenny Chesney,” he told the Tulsa World. “You would hear a lot about Pat Green. Shoot, I have them all. Eric Church is one of my favorites right now. Blake Shelton, of course. Lots of old countries too. I keep up to date with current things, but I always go back to the 90s, 2000s and before. You would also hear some [Bruce] Springsteen and [John] Mellencamp.
What about the tradition of his typing skills?
Tales of his prowess as a typing champion continue to grow in mythic fashion. In 2017, Aikman told the New that he competed in the state typing championship.
“I think I was the county typing champion. It keeps getting bigger. Now he turns to the state champion,” he said. KJRH-TV in Tulsa. “It was not so widely disputed. I was a pretty good typist, and it was actually one of the best things I did when I was in high school. And now, with computers and keyboards and everything else, it’s served me very well.
He brings his beer to Henryetta
Aikman is making its Texas-exclusive 8 Elite Light Lager beer available to Oklahoma goers, which contains 90 calories and 2.6 grams of carbs per 12-ounce can.
“Hopefully we can eventually move it to Oklahoma,” he told KJRH-TV. “It will be served at the music festival…so a lot of people will get a chance to taste it afterwards.”
Will he go on stage to sing?
Aikman was asked if he would take the stage to sing. He’s not particularly proud of a country album his Cowboys teammates recorded in 1996.
“If I sing like a few lyrics, it would be an upset,” he said Fox 23-TV in Tulsa. “I’ll be on stage, but I don’t think there will be a lot of singing.”